When an average team plays a strong team, the expected result is a win for the strong team. It is normal that the strong team will make more points, and will be forced into less errors.
What often ends up happening though, is that the weaker team suddenly makes errors that they would not expect to make. Spikes hit the middle of the net. Free balls don’t make it past the 3m line. Easy serves are shanked in to the stands.
In effect, the weaker team plays the opponent’s jerseys instead of the ball that is there to be played. The moment that any team starts to focus on the jersey is the moment that the game is lost.
Whatever the game, whatever the opponent, the focus of the players must be on the ball, not on who played the ball. It is an easy trap to fall into, especially when game plans so often focus on the opponent and how to stop them but the coach first priority is that their team to play as well as they can play.
That means the coach must do everything in their power to ensure their team plays the ball, and NOT the jersey.
A collection of 50 Coaching Tips can be found here.
For more great coaching tips, check out the Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.